Adolescence is an awkward stage. Young teens struggle to find their identity, develop their personal skills and fit into their peer group. A seventh-grade persuasive speech assignment presents a wonderful opportunity to challenge the young teenager to find his own voice by persuasively presenting topics of current interest. By encouraging the student to connect his passions with a public presentation, the teacher creates an environment for personal growth and academic learning.
Though many teenagers quietly try to blend in with the crowd, most have strong opinions on culturally significant events and trends. What does it mean to teenagers, for example, if the crime rate or drug use is on the rise in their hometown? By encouraging the adolescent to dig into facts and figures regarding local current events, you can help the student to look beneath the surface and connect with her feelings on the issue.
Few issues are as important to adolescents as social trends and pop culture. These trends and the celebrities at their center often stir up heated emotions. The persuasive speech can be a platform from which the student investigates his own feelings about the latest popular music, dance style or technological gadget. The topic, and even the position the student takes, is less important than getting the student to engage his feelings and to present his thoughts before a classroom of his peers.
For more introspective students, an assignment to present an objective movie review can help the student overcome her fear of public speaking. Most teens are passionate about the latest box office hit. A teacher can tap into these passions by encouraging the student to review a favorite movie. If the assignment includes a comparison between a current box office hit and a similar movie from a previous generation, the persuasive paper becomes an insightful learning tool.
Sports Teams and Sports Personalities
Boys in particular may have a difficult time finding a topic about which they are willing to speak publicly. Yet most male students have a favorite athlete, professional team or sport. A persuasive paper that focuses on one of these subjects motivates the student to look beyond his surface passions and decide why he is a fan of a particular team.
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